Egg Color Genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by faykokoWV, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    I've been breeding Welsummers for a while now and I have a question regarding the genetics of egg color. Some of my hens lay a dark terracotta colored egg, the other hens lay a slightly lighter egg with speckles. I wanted to get rid of the speckled eggs, but other breeders tell me not too. If I keep hens that lay both colors, how concerned do I have to be that the roosters I keep are going to thow in genetics that are going to sway the offspring to one type of egg or the other.

    Is solid color vs speckled a genetic trait... if so which is the dominate trait
     
  2. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not seen any research on the subject nor have I worked with the trait. If it does have a genetic component, do not use the speckled egg females as breeders. There are shell glands in the egg pouch that produce the brown pigments (porphoryns) that are deposited on the eggs. I believe birds that have spots on the eggs have some shell glands that are producing more brown pigment than the other shell glands; therefore you get spots. If all the shell glands are making the same amount of pigments, then the egg has uniform color. There are different kinds of porphoryns ( brown egg pigments); it would be interesting to see if the egg color is related to more or less of the different kinds of porphoryns. It could be that some shell glands are making more of a certain kind of porphyrin and you get spots.

    Would be an interesting research project.

    Tim
     
  3. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    as interesting as the "Shiny" Blue egg trait. as per Jocelyn from the coop(breeder of Rapanui and Chilean stock of Araucanas and native blue eggers) this trait is a autosomal recessive to the normal mate looking eggs, interesting enough I have a shiny at best and satin at worst tinted egg layer and I want to see whats going on with this trait. I can get a hold of mate colored egg layer(white leghorn)

    sorry I was off topic
     
  4. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    so if I want to maintain some solid dark egg layers, I should not breed any of the spotted egg layers.. otherwise I run the risk of the spotted egg taking over. It would be a good research project, not one I'm able to do though. I don't have enough space for another breeding pen.

    I wonder if the shiny egg vs matte finish as well. Is that a separate glad that produces the shine? I notice some breeds have shiny eggs and others don't. I also have some Ameraucana that lay shiny and others that lay matte. I actually prefer the matte finish. I would think the shine or lack of shine would be part of the "bloom" . I never thought much about what the bloom was composed of, but I wonder if food/pH and other external factors can affect that? I've read that dietary changes can affect egg color, but I've never actually seen this happen.
     
  5. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    Thats correct.

    the Huge difference between a feather color project and egg color project is having to keep all of the females(you need to hatch at least 20 to expect 10 females and some of them could not make it to adulthood, so if you are lucky you will end up with 8 laying pullets) and having to wait 5+ months for them to start laying,

    according to the source its a single autosomal recessive gene(shiny egg shell) so the Mate is dominant here is the thread http://www.the-coop.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=107895



    Ameraucanas/EE and Araucanas can have both. the Legbars and the Blue eggers(from the university) been more leghorn than araucanas lay mate blue eggs
     
  6. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not read any research on the "finish" of an egg. It is my opinion that it must have a genetic component because some breeds lay one type of egg and others lay another type of egg. I have some females that lay the matte finish and others lay the glossy finish. I would agree with you about the bloom. I have not researched the bloom and can not tell you were it is produced in a chicken.

    Tim
     

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